updated 04:25 pm EDT, Fri September 30, 2011
Kodak hires Jones Day law firm for money advice
(Update: Kodak responds) Electronics maker Kodak has hired law firm Jones Day to help it with restructuring, sources familiar with the matter told the WSJ. Investors are concerned with Kodak's turnaround prospects, and it has recently borrowed $160 million from a credit line. Meanwhile, shares fell about 60 percent.
Exactly what Jones Day will advise isn't known, as the firm has advised large companies on bankruptcies and other methods of improving finances. It could tell Kodak to raise new debt or equity or ask creditors to forgive debt in exchange for ownership stakes.
"As we sit here today, the company has no intention of filing for bankruptcy," said Kodak spokesman Gerard Meuchner. Company chief executive Antonio Perez made a similar announcement to the company's 19,000 worldwide employees using a broadcast.
Kodak also recently hired investment bank Lazard Ltd. to advise it on selling 1,100 camera patents in order to raise cash. Possible buyers may be Apple or Google, though they weren't named. Purchasing these "defensive patents" would help the companies from any upcoming lawsuits. Owning patents can also prove profitable to companies who would use them in lawsuits against others who may infringe them.
Update: Kodak has put out a statement acknowledging that it was talking to Jones Day but which repeated its position that it had no plans to declare bankruptcy.
"Kodak is committed to meeting all of its obligations and has no intention of filing for bankruptcy," it said. "The company also continues to actively pursue its previously announced strategy to monetize its digital imaging patent portfolio. Kodak remains focused on meeting its commitments to customers and suppliers, and on delivering on its strategy to become a profitable, sustainable digital company."